tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN May 3, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
>> that's it for us. thanks for watching. time to hand things over to don lemon see you tomorrow. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. so much for the new trump legal team sticking to the script. sources tell cnn rudy giuliani has thrown the white house into an uproar. some of the president's legal advisers complaining they were blind-sided when giuliani went rogue over the last 24 hours and they feared he was just winging it, but giuliani tells cnn he coordinated carefully with trump himself. saying, quote, you won't see daylight between me and the president. so let's recap some of the bombshells giuliani dropped. he confirmed that michael reimbursed his fixer michael cohen for the $130,000 payment
to stormy daniels. contradicting the president claim that he knew nothing about it. contradicting the president again when he said the real reason for comey's firing was his refusal to say the president was not a target of the fbi investigation into russia's election interference. and by calling the fbi agents who conducted last night's raid stormtroopers. cohen himself told me those agents were polite and professional. lots more on all that in just a moment. so please stand by. but let's look at the big picture here. the big picture. we have all been lied to. and not just today. the ugly truth is that president trump and his aides have deliberately deceived the american people with false statements and shifting explanations. more than 3,000 lies since this president took the oath of office, lies about stormy daniels, when president trump on air force one claimed he didn't know about the hush money michael cohen paid to silence
her. this is what sarah sanders, her trying to dance around jim acosta's questions about that just today. >> you said on march 7th there was no knowledge of any payments from the president and he's denied all these allegations. were you lying to us at the time or were you in the dark? >> the president has denied and continues to deny the underlying claim, and again i've given the best information i had at the time, and i would refer you back to the comments that you yourself just mentioned a few minutes ago about the time line from mayor giuliani. >> more lies about north korea when president trump tweeted the obama administration was unable to get three americans released, even though two of those americans were detained with trump in the white house. even lies about the size of his inaugural crowd. >> that was the largest crowd to ever witness an inauguration period. >> that was the first day. remember that? as "the washington post" reports
today, quote, it's become standard operating procedure for trump and his aides to deceive the public with false statements and shifting accounts. in other words, lies. you're being deceived almost every single day. there's a long list of president false statements from "the washington post." the president claimed that he passed the biggest tax cut in history. that's not true. he claimed democrats don't care about daca. not true. he claimed his promised border wall is already being built. that's a lie. took credit for 3 million jobs created since the election including 300,000 new jobs in manufacturing. even though he didn't take office until almost three months later and the number of manufacturing jobs created in his presidency is about 260,000. claimed he has essentially gotten rid of obamacare. he hasn't. he claimed the united states has spent $7 trillion on wars in the middle east. that's a made-up number. he claimed the u.s. trade deficit with china is $500 billion. it's $300 billion.
he claimed he accomplished more in his first year than any other president, even though he actually signed fewer bills in his first year than any president since eisenhower. and the list goes on and on and on. >> when the president so often says things that turn out not to be true, when the president and the white house show what appears to be a blatant disregard for the truth, how are the american people to trust or believe what is said here or what is said by the president? >> we give the very best information that we have at the time. i do that every single day and will continue to do that every day i'm in this position. >> facts matter. they used to. they should. this administration is not giving you the facts. the question is, do you care? are you okay with being conned by this white house? being lied to by the people whose salaries you pay? the people who are supposed to put the interests of the country
first, not the personal interest of the president with one mess after another to be cleaned up. are you okay with that? think about that. i want to bring in now cnn's chief white house correspondent jim acosta, april ryan, phillip mudd. i could have gone on and on with the lies. good evening, guys. his approval numbers are similar to those of other presidents. that's a lie. the u.s. gave iran $150 billion under the iran agreement. a lie. when the iran agreement deal expires, they're free to create nuclear weapons. that is a lie. there's more human trafficking and slavery than in the history of the world. that's a lie. he's happy with his legal team. that's a lie. obama wiretapped him in the trump tower. that's a line. jim, how do you deal with this every single day? how do we ever know if they are telling the truth? >> well, don, i wish i could install a bs meter inside the white house briefing room. unfortunately i think it would
be going off all the time and it would be hard to hear the press secretary attempt to tell the truth on a daily basis. you know, don, this is the fourth press secretary i've dealt with over here at the white house, jay carney, mike turner, and sean spicer i think might still be in the bushes over there. and sarah sanders. and unfortunately, they don't know how to tell the truth other here. and it's an ongoing problem over here at the white house to try to decipher what is real and what is fake. for all the president's claims of fake news, when they lie to us on a daily basis, and through the course of our reporting, unfortunately we report and repeat some of those lies on a daily basis, the end result is, in some cases, fake news. and it just makes it incumbent upon all of us, and especially on press world freedom day like it is today to try to get through the fog of lies and deceit that we deal with on almost a daily basis over here.
>> april, i was watching the briefing today. i want to play your exchange with sarah sanders and then we'll talk on the other side. >> why didn't you talk to the white house press office about his impacting statements about what was happening? >> the white house press office wouldn't coordinate with the president's outside legal team on a legal strategy. >> you said yourself you were blind sided. >> i actually didn't use that term. >> well, i said. you were blind sided from what you said. >> with all due respect, you actually don't know much about me in terms of what i feel and what i don't. >> i understand how this operates. >> what was that all about? >> you know, i think she's feeling some kind of way. she's catching feelings from this weekend and i guess i was her whipping post, but i'm not a whipping post. she's 35, i'm 50. i've been at the white house for 21 years to her one? if that. i've seen impeachment during the bill clinton years. i've seen how the attorneys had
to give some information to the white house staff to make them aware of what was -- the broad stroke of what was going on, versus getting in the weeds. they had no clue as to what rudy giuliani was going to say. sarah huckabee-sanders herself in that briefing room said she learned of it as that interview was happening on fox news. i was not making a personal statement of her. this was fact she spoke from the briefing room just minutes before i asked my questions. if she's upset, that's fine. i understand people in the white house are very upset. they're battling with rudy giuliani. there was a phone call this morning that rudy giuliani said i'm not giving you any information. so maybe that could be some of it. but what i will say to you is that for her to say -- for sarah huckabee-sanders, the mouthpiece
of the president of the united states to say you don't know me, in certain quarters of this nation, that starts a physical fight. i was very shocked. it was street. i will even go beyond that. it was gutter. and there is no room, no place for that in that white house briefing room. and you know what, she can be mad at what i say right now, tough. i'm a reporter who's going to continue to ask questions. and there was nothing wrong with that question. am i a little upset about it? yes. yes, i am. i am. i am. >> well, phil, you know, you saw the exchange with april there. you heard what jim said. i've seen jim. he's been a bit contentious with him at times. lie after lie after lie. it's a pattern. and it's deliberate, is it? >> it is. let's cut to the chase, don. the american people elected a liar. we knew that when he took office. he lied about the ratings for his tv show. he's lied repeatedly about things like whether the former president had an accurate birth certificate. but there are characteristics here of lying that have more
significant implications. for example, i don't think -- this is just my personal judgment -- that he will ever go into a meeting with the special counsel, robert mueller. if you lie to the special counsel, that's a federal violation. that's what we call a 1001 violation. you can be charged for that. that's -- that's a violation of federal law. let's assume the special counsel does not believe that he could charge the president of the united states. he will -- that is, robert mueller's special counsel -- capture in a document what he's learned in the investigation. he will give that document to the deputy attorney general. i think that document will end up in the hands of the congress. they're going to have to decide what to do if the special counsel determines that the president has lied. is the congress going to conduct hearings? we call that impeachment. there is one final element about lying here, don, that i think is really significant. in a week and a half, we're going to hear comments from the president of the united states. does he believe that the iranians are in compliance with a nuclear agreement that the
americans agreed with along with other people, including europeans. we're going to hear the president comment on whether he thinks we have a clear agreement with the north koreans on a path forward on their nuclear program. if the president of the united states does not think he believes, for example, the iranians are in compliance, do we believe him? or do we think he's making a political statement? i can tell you, i for one am going to look for other people in the cabinet -- the secretary of state, secretary of defense, if at that point, we have a cia director, to see what they say. there are national security implications here beyond stormy daniels. when will the president stop lying? will it stop at national security? i don't know. >> i wonder if -- you know, when -- the channel that boosts him or in many of the shows where he can do no wrong, maybe it's when they start -- those shows start actually telling people the truth. neil cavuto over there, he wasn't having the president's
changing story today either. watch this. >> let me be clear, mr. president, how can you drain the swamp if you're the one who keeps muddying the waters. you didn't know about the $130,000 payment to a porn star until you did. you said you knew nothing about how your former lawyer michael cohen handled this. until acknowledging today you were the guy behind the retainer payment that took care of this. you insist that money from the campaign or campaign contributions played no role in this transaction. of that you're sure. the thing is, not even 24 hours ago, sir, you couldn't recall any of this. and you seem very sure. i'm not saying you're a liar. you're the president, you ear busy. i'm having a devil of a time figure out which news is fake. let's say your own words on lots of stuff give me pause. i guess you're too busy draining the swamp to stop and smell the stink you're doing.
that's your doing. that's your stink. mr. president, that's your swamp. [ applause ] >> jimmy, he also went through an example after example of the president's false and misleading statements on policy, on staff changes, even calling out the president for pumping up his own poll numbers. what do you think of that? >> i think when you've lost fox news, you're starting to lose the fox news viewership. and a lot of people call fox news state tv. there are cracks. the jamming radar is not quite working. on the top of the fox news headquarters tonight if neil cavuto is calling the president out in that fashion. i think that's a very welcome sign. listen, when rudy giuliani says the president only found out about this ten days or two weeks ago but yet the president is tweeting this morning that
michael cohen is being paid through a monthly retainer presumably payments that go back a ways, those facts just don't line up. when the president is asked a month ago and he doesn't know about it and sarah sanders is asked about it two months ago and says he didn't know about it. the fact just don't line up. and kudos to cavuto for calling the president out. my guess is, don, we're going to be seeing more of that. you're going to see more defections from what i call the state tv, i think. more defections from the maga-phone that just pump out what the president wants them to say on a daily basis. at some point there's a challenge to one's conscious to want to scream out the truth. i think you're going to see that slowly but surely across the conservative media spectrum because there are people who are just saying, you know what, this just doesn't add up anymore. and we're not going to play along with this. >> well, we'll see. we'll see. certainly the lawmakers, and those are the folks who really should be -- that's where the
jamming device is over the capitol building and that's the one that needs to be turned off. thank you all. i appreciate it. stay strong, all of you. trump has a message for jeff sessions. shut down the mueller investigation. but will pressuring the attorney general work? we'll talk about that. hen i tra. for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro.
but birds eye made it deliciousfrom zucchini.a. mmm... mashed potatoes...and rice! but made from cauliflower. looks like i need a fork! oh no. (giggles) birds eye veggie made. so veggie good. this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪
wemost familiar companies,'s but we make more than our name suggests. we're an organic tea company. a premium juice company. a coconut water company. we've got drinks for long days. for birthdays. for turning over new leaves. and we make them for every moment in every corner of the country. we are the coca-cola company, and we're proud to offer so much more.
we're on the move. hey rick, all good? oh yeah, we're good. we're good. terminix. defenders of home. rudy giuliani putting pressure on attorney general jeff sessions to shut down the mueller investigation. i want to bring in now cnn contributor john dean who was the nixon white house counsel and josh campbell, a special assistant to james comey when he was fbi director. good evening. josh i'm going to start with you. this is rudy giuliani expressing disappointment and frustration with attorney general jeff sessions. here it is. >> i've got to go there and jay sekulow, we've got to go there and prepare him for this silly deposition about a case in which
he supposedly colluded with the russians but there's no evidence of that? everybody forgets the basis of the case is dead. sessions should step in and close it. and say enough is enough. >> so josh, he is putting pressure on jeff sessions to step in and close the investigation. do you think that will work? >> i don't. i think this is disgraceful. this is someone who is an attorney, he was an officer of the court, he was a former government official that was a u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york where all of this is taking place. he was someone rumored to be a cabinet official and now he's attempting to inappropriately influence a u.s. counterintelligence investigation. it's important for him to remember that he doesn't have just any client. his client is the most powerful person in the world. so when he's attempting to signal to the attorney general that a case should go away, that's something that should give all americans great pause. we've seen this change with mr. giuliani. i remember 9/11, i remember him
being america's mayor. i grew up in rural texas. but he was my mayor. the problem is now the first line of his obituary is not going to be someone who brought the nation through a national tragedy and strengthened our institutions. it's going to be someone who led the charge to destroy those institutions. >> before 9/11, his rating wasn't that good here in new york. 9/11 helped him with that. >> they don't talk about partisan politics. but if you look at what they're doing as a matter of principle, attacking our system of justice, it's something that we should all stop and really focus on. it's incredible. >> so john, why would giuliani give these interviews apparently with the blessing of the president? what is the strategy here? >> i can't believe it's a strategy, don. it really, i think it's just totally ad-hoc.
it's rudy showing off his newfound power and he's really pushing the envelope when he's doing it. the whole scene in the news room today made me flash back on ron ziegler, who was nixon's press secretary during watergate. ziegler had a real thing about not going into the press room and losing the confidence through dishonest statements to the press. and when he didn't feel he could brief, he didn't go out. he went out -- he sent one of his deputies out. when he realized he had all of his facts wrong, he declared everything inoperative, and tried to keep some honor. and as you know, he survived it and came through it all with a good reputation. >> josh, you asked for it, so i'm going to play this. this is rudy giuliani appearing to compare the federal agents who raided cohen's office in their investigation to nazi stormtroopers. watch this. >> the only possible violation there would be was it a campaign finance violation? which usually would result in a
fine, by the way. not this big stormtroopers coming in and breaking down his apartment and breaking down his office. that was money that was paid by his lawyer the way i would do out of his law firm funds or whatever funds, doesn't matter. the president reimbursed that over the period of several months. >> these are agents from the southern district of new york, the same jurisdiction that rudy giuliani once led. when they raided michael cohen, he said that they were polite and professional. how are those words being received by the men and women? >> they're not receiving it well. my phone has been blowing up by former colleagues in the fbi who are irate at the continuing attacks. set aside the investigation. for someone to attack the investigation, that's par for the course. but this is yet another pattern of, you know, a campaign to discredit those who are investigating a very important case. and they're doing so by
attacking the institutions of justice. the issue is, this isn't someone who slipped up or someone who's senile. the reason we know that is because if you look at the daily beast interview with him today, he doubled down on this notion, comparing the fbi agents to nazis. that's something again that should give americans great pause. now the fbi, they're not infallible, they make mistakes. they're human beings. but they're the kind of people when they make mistakes they're going to admit them. the last major mistakes, it's been the fbi saying we screwed this up or handing over documents. we have problems within our own house that need to be looked at. so to compare them to some kind of authoritarian regime busting out doors, again, it may give you short-term political gain, but it's going to destroy the institution. and it's going to ultimate impact our national security if the american people do not trust fbi agents. >> the man, john, who once headed the fbi, james comey fired back today tweeting. i know the new york fbi. there are no stormtroopers there, just a group of people devoted to the rule of law and the truth.
our country would be better off if our leaders tried to be like them rather than comparing them to nazi's. what do you think, john? >> i think that's accurate. there is a letter circulating right now that almost 1,000 former alum of the department of justice have signed to call upon this administration to honor the rule of law. and these are people who feel very strongly, who devoted their own professional careers to the department of justice and seeing justice done. justice is, of course, blind. and we're not seeing -- we're seeing a man trying to influence that impartial justice right now. and it's kind of pathetic. >> did rudy giuliani give the special counsel a gift with all these comments? >> i think he did. you've got to remember, he is the attorney for the president is his agent. he's speaking same as the president himself were speaking. and the president might be held accountable. rudy giuliani may lose his law
license before this is all over as well. >> john, josh, thank you gentlemen, i appreciate it. when we come back, sources tell cnn the president's legal team was blind-sided by rudy giuliani's comments last night. including the latest one. one of many explanations for why fbi director james comey was fired. more on the legal headaches giuliani may be making for his boss. the digital divide is splitting this country. we have parents who are trying to get their kids off of too much social media and computers, and then we have parents who would only hope their children have access. middle school is a really key transition point, right. the stakes start changing. students begin to really start thinking about their futures. what i like about verizon's approach is that it's not limited to just giving kids new tools, it's really about empowering educators
to teach in different ways, and exposing kids to more active forms of learning. giving technology is not a total solution. teaching technology, now that is. of coursbut if you hadowerful. any lingering doubts about the acceleration... horsepower... and all-around performance... of a lexus hybrid, this should clear the air. lexus hybrids. crafted to be fast as h. now comparably priced to the rest of the lineup. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. ♪ (electronic dance music)♪
♪ ♪ now you can, with shipsticks.com! no more lugging your clubs through the airport or risk having your clubs lost or damaged by the airlines. sending your own clubs ahead with shipsticks.com makes it fast & easy to get to your golf destination. with just a few clicks or a phone call we'll pick up and deliver your clubs on-time, guaranteed, for as low as $39.99. shipsticks.com saves you time and money. make it simple. make it ship sticks.
if you'd have told me three years ago... that we'd be downloading in seconds, what used to take... minutes. that guests would compliment our wifi. that we could video conference... and do it like that. (snaps) if you'd have told me that i could afford... a gig-speed. a gig-speed network. it's like 20 times faster than what most people have. i'd of said... i'd of said you're dreaming. dreaming! definitely dreaming. then again, dreaming is how i got this far.
now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. >> sources telling cnn rudy giuliani's media blitz has blindsided the rest of the president's legal team. not only did he reveal that president trump reimbursed michael cohen for the stormy daniels hush money payment, he also changed the white house story on why james comey was fired as fbi director. what does this mean for the mueller investigation and the white house? jack quinn is here. laura coats, and phillip lacavara. good evening.
welcome to the program. glad to have you all here. this is now the third justification that we have heard for james comey's firing. first the president said comey was fired over his handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. pointing to a letter justifying that it was written by rod rosenstein. then the president said this in his interview with lester holt. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> and then last night, giuliani weighed in. >> he fired comey because comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation. he's entitled to that. hillary clinton got that, and he couldn't get that. so he fired him and said i'm free of this guy. >> why the shifting rationale on
comey's firing and why can't they get their stories straight, laura? >> it seems as though they're always trying to figure out how they can make themselves presented in the best light. what they're doing with all the different variations of these stories, all the different it it rations and discussions and explanations/confessions, all they do is the equivalent of saying don, do not think of the pink elephant. now all you can do is think of a pink elephant. if you're robert mueller's team and you're wondering why was james comey fired, you have brought a magnifying glass on the very top of their head to say is there a reason you can't get your stories straight? normally it's because a lie just sounds like a lie. the truth sounds like truth. when you have variations of it, it's a problem. also, you have the shift of different legal teams. everyone trying to have a legal strategy that matches with the court of public opinion and pr campaign. and when that's your focus, the court of public opinion and pr
campaign, you often make missteps that you would not make in a court of law. that's what you're seeing here. >> so phil, what about it, how important are these changing explanations for the mueller investigation? >> i think it's important. i've already written that i think the president's interview with lester holt last year completed the circle in establishing the elements of an obstruction of justice charge that mueller is investigating. this latest comment by giuliani simply adds one more piece of damning information to it, because it again adds a corrupt explanation for the president's decision to fire jim comey. and that's simply not permitted under federal criminal law. >> so jack, you heard what phil said. do giuliani's comments bring it closer to an obstruction of justice charge? >> i think it's another brick in the wall.
i think as a result of the raid on michael cohen's office and residence that giuliani was trying to do some clean-up work. but the clean-up man made a big mess. he made a huge mess as laura and phillip pointed out on the obstruction case. this comment he made about, you know, the reason he was -- comey was fired was because he wouldn't declare the president not to be a subject of the investigation, that was a disaster. and i'm sure we'll talk about it later. but he was similarly disastrous in terms of the daniels case. >> so laura, let's talk about that. did you want to say something? >> don, i -- yeah. i wanted to just pick up on what jack just mentioned. the other part of what rudy did that undermined his client's position is that he made his own client as well as himself a likely witness in connection with the cohen investigation because the explanation that rudy gave is inconsistent with the public story that cohen has been giving about how the stormy
daniels deal was done. and if cohen has said anything like that to the fbi, then both rudy and his own client, the president, would be offering contradictory and inculpatory evidence against michael cohen. >> cohen said he had not -- initially he had not been reimbursed. laura, listen, giuliani's explanation also contradicts the president himself who said comey told him on three separate investigations that he was not under investigation. comey confirmed that. so this not under investigation is somehow different than not being a target of the investigation? >> well, it is. semantics is more than the issue here. if you're a target, it means there's likely evidence that links you to a crime. if you're a subject, your conduct is under scrutiny or in relation to the grand jury's overall investigation. the two is distinct, but it's fascinating to me that rudy giuliani would be asking for donald trump to get the hillary
clinton treatment. remember, one of the things that the hillary treatment included is that if you were to alert the public about an ongoing investigation or that they were a target, then you had the triggering obligation to then tell the court or the congress or the american people that they are no longer a target, or if that changes again back to that. but the president's lawyer asks for that particular allowance to say i would like the hillary clinton treatment would actually say that if there was to be a change between that very thin line between a subject and a target, that we should all be alerted every single time. which is not at all what donald trump was asking for when he allegedly asked about loyalty. it's not at all what he would want. it's not what a reasonable person would want to do to have that constant clarification, validation or confirmation that they are in the eye of the mueller investigation. >> i want all of you to stick around. when we come back, why did rudy giuliani reveal the president repaid michael cohen? was it part of a strategy or was it a slip-up? into retirement...
and a little nervous. but not so much about what market volatility may do to their retirement savings. that's because they have a shield annuity from brighthouse financial, which allows them to take advantage of growth opportunities in up markets, while maintaining a level of protection in down markets. so they can focus on new things like exotic snacks. talk with your advisor about shield annuities from brighthouse financial- established by metlife.
prepare for your demise, do your worst, doctor. i will. but first, a little presentation. hijacking earth's geothermal energy supply. phase 1. choosing the right drill bit. as long as evil villains reveal their plans, you can count on geico saving folks money. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
no one thought much of itm at all.l people said it just made a mess until exxonmobil scientists put it to the test. they thought someday it could become fuel and power our cars wouldn't that be cool? and that's why exxonmobil scientists think it's not small at all. energy lives here. only one candidate for governor when students were stuck in failing schools, led the fight to turn them around. as mayor of l.a., antonio villaraigosa invested in classrooms and security. graduation rates soared.
rudy giuliani's stunning admission that the president was aware of the payoff to stormy daniels. was that part of the legal strategy? okay, so laura, we repeatedly heard from the white house that president trump had no knowledge of the payments to stormy daniels. take a listen to this. >> there was no knowledge of any payments from the president and he's denied all of these allegations. >> the president strongly, clear ly and has consistently denied these underlying claims. >> the president has denied the allegations. we've spoken about this issue extensively and i have nothing else to add. >> did you know about the payments? did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> do you think there's a legal strategy behind giuliani revealing that the president did repay michael cohen? >> only if stupid is a
litigation strategy. if not, no, there was no strategy behind it. what he did is give more exposure to the president of the united states. remember, if it was a loan, it was still an excessive campaign contribution that needed to be reported to the election commission. if he repaid it, that would also be part of the reporting requirements. if this was not part of the reporting requirements, why would this not be reporting finance laws. all you would have to do is say give me a loan i'll pay it back after the end of the election. no one has to be wiser about this and we'll circumvent everything. they still had reporting requirements. and rudy giuliani's comment that this money was funneled, that's the word he used, funneled through a law firm indicates that maybe it was willful and intentional, which now seems more like a criminal violation than an fec violation. >> he maintains all along it's not a campaign violation. but jack, you say giuliani doesn't understand the law. why do you say that? >> he doesn't understand the
law. i mean, i have this image of the president and rudy sitting around talking about how, you know, well, we didn't use campaign funds. that's not the issue. it never has been the issue. as laura points out, the issue was whether there was a contribution either in the form of a loan or a donation, and if so, if that contribution was excessive, the limit for someone like mr. cohen would be $2,000. this was $130,000 and it applies to a loan as equally as to a cash donation. >> but even with that, what is the exposure? let's just say it is. just for the sake of saying it. >> laura put her finger on that, too. because the use of the term funneling the money really speaks to the fact that they were aware of this -- >> i got that. but what i'm asking is, is it jail time? a fine? is it that big a deal? what is it? >> well, it's a felony. it's a felony. okay? now, i'm not saying that a felony will be demonstrated here, but rudy giuliani
described circumstances that could easily lead one to the conclusion that a felony was committed. >> okay. so phil, what if it wasn't related to the campaign? can you say in this case that it's not related to the campaign, it's something you did for a friend? >> i think it's pretty hard to justify that kind of rationale. and that wasn't even the case that rudy was trying to make last night. i think his mouth just got disengaged from his brain. a friend of mine who was the u.s. attorney before rudy identifies himself as the u.s. attorney before television, and his point is that rudy loves being the center of attention on tv. and after he left the mayoralty, he was in a vast wasteland where he had very little public identity. now he's been called back from oblivion and he relished going
on the hannity program and he let his mouth get away from him. i don't think there's any grand strategy there. >> i think this will help everyone make the point. because he -- rudy giuliani told "the washington post" that he paid cohen with his personal funds because they never considered this a campaign payment. but he also said this. watch this. >> imagine if that came out on october 15th, 2016 in the middle of the last debate with hillary clinton. >> right, so to make it go away -- they made this payment? >> cohen didn't even ask. cohen made it go away. he did his job. >> okay. >> case closed. >> so to make it go away because the campaign was going to be impacted, we decided to help the campaign by giving it a $130,000 benefit. that's called a contribution. that's called one you make to donate to a campaign. that statement, even if he had the discombobulation, you made your case even stronger by talking about it being a campaign issue. >> go ahead, jim.
>> and remember, the alleged affair took place ten years before that. so six weeks before an election, they have this need to take care of a 10-year-old affair. it's just not plausible. >> phil, have rudy giuliani's comments made things worse for michael cohen? do they matter -- >> absolutely. >> how so? >> i think they do. because he basically said that what cohen was doing was arranging for a fix of the political problems that the president was having during the election. and one of the things that struck me -- and i think it was probably a freudian slip from rudy who made his bones as a racket buster in the u.s. attorney's office, even before he was the u.s. attorney. he used the term describing michael cohen's job, which was to find a problem and make the problem disappear. exactly the kind of language
that i'm sure rudy used in any number of racketeering prosecutions when he was talking about how the mob eliminated problems that had to be made to disappear. i can't think there's any good impact from rudy's comments last night in advancing his client's cause. >> great conversation. >> the only thing is -- >> go ahead, quick, if you can do it. >> i was going to say, i want to throw him a lifeline. i think he was trying to say that the payment was coincidental and that he would have gotten his retainer anyway. that fails, of course, because he then said it was made for services not rendered and given for profit and tax benefits as well. so even an attempt to say this was a coincidental and benign transaction was undermined by giuliani's following statement. it's a mess. >> i wouldn't want you as my prosecutor. you know way too much, laura. >> so does mueller, apparently. >> can we get another prosecutor? she's too smart.
batting down every argument. when we come back, from america's mayor to trump's top defender. how rudy giuliani has changed over the years. i'm going to talk to someone who knew him well. or knows him well next. i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro.
in an already chaotic trump white house. joining me now, my panel. so, you know rudy guiliani. can i tell you a story? >> yeah, sure. >> i covered rudy giuliani's first day in office. >> no kidding. >> i was a film producer for fox 5 news here in new york city and i watched him become mayor and covered his first day in office. >> '94. >> he's not the same guy i knew back then. you've known him for a long time. >> yeah, i had the honor of working with him in city hall. i was his chief speech writer in a second term and went with him through 9/11 and remain incredibly proud of having worked for him and the work he did to save new york city. even before 9/11.
i think he utterly transformed this city. and i think folks who are fired up about this stage and his defense of trump and disagree with it, and we've grown apart politically, but look, we're in a family feud as a country right now. and good people can disagree. but also you've got to see the guy's career and everyone's career in full context. and what he did as mayor was extraordinary. and i was proud to play a small part in his administration. >> when i look at him i just wonder, like, what is he doing? you can be a supporter of the president and still go on television and not, you know, say the wrong things. >> i don't think anybody -- maybe it's easier for me to answer this question. maybe it's not. i worked for rudy giuliani for a brief time when he ran for president, and i will always thank him for running for president because if he didn't, i would have never have met my
husband. but that was the lasting legacy in his presidential run. but besides that he say a pro lgbtq republican, a pro-choice republican, an urban conservative, somebody who reformed urban areas through conservative means like think-tanks -- >> so how do you explain this? >> when he ran for president he became a different kind of candidate than he even was as mayor. and by the way at some point he'd survived cancer, gotten through 9/11. things happen in people's lives that change them fundamentally. so he was a different person then when i worked for him, then as mayor, and probably when you cover him now. >> so, listen, today the former white water federal prosecutor spoke to dana bash and said the interview was a murder/suicide. watch this. >> just broadly, what do you make of jagiuliani's legal strategy here? >> well, i liken it to a
murder/suicide. he metaphorically murdered the president and committed suicide with respect to his own reputation. >> that's pretty stark. how so? >> oh, it was an incredibly embarrassing interview. >> pretty brutal. what do you think? >> yeah, look, it's a good line. but clearly the president doesn't feel murdered. if anything, he eampt affirmed what rudy said. and hearing him speak, you did get a sense of what the conversation is behind closed doors. last night was not rudy at his best, obviously. but he seems to think he's doing what's right and serving this president. and he gave us, i suppose, the give at the end of the day of blowing through all the pretense of the stormy daniels' lies we've been fed to date. did he create more legal problems for the president? more legal problems for michael cohen? that's tbd.
>> i want to get this in. he was particularly mean to hillary clinton during the presidential campaign. here it is. >> the whole clinton machine is one lie after another. she did everything she could possibly do to show she had intent to violate the criminal laws. she didn't know that c on a government document meant confidential. well, if he didn't know that she was just too stupid to be secretary of state. >> too stupid to be president because he did not know of her husband's affair with monica lewinsky. >> look, you're pulling some of the highlights of campaign rhetoric -- >> the low lights. >> like the low lights of campaign rhetoric which are uglier than ugly in 2016, ug leer than ever before. and it's true that rudy giuliani and hillary clinton have been political foes for more than a decade. remember they were going to run against each other in 2000. >> there's not a lot of love
lost between -- >> as a woman, i don't like hearing it. it's totally inappropriate. >> see, this is what i don't get about politics when people say everything that happens on the campaign trail you're supposed to forget about that when people say really nasty things that's part of their personality. if you can stoop that low, it means you will stoop that low. >> you're responsible for what you say when the microphone is in front of you, responsible for what you stand for. and there will be people who really disagree with rudy's strategy, with the way he's conducted himself around the campaign and his defense of the president today. i would say, out of a spirit of charity, judge careers in a full context, not by the lowest moment or the highest. but in his full ledger. >> don't you think he should think about his own legacy. >> i certainly do. [ laughter ] >> and i don't think he's doing his legacy any favor, and that
real people with active psoriatic arthritis are changing the way they fight it. they're moving forward with cosentyx. it's a different kind of targeted biologic. it's proven to help people find less joint pain and clearer skin. don't use if you are allergic to cosentyx. before starting cosentyx you should be checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection. or if you have received a vaccine, or plan to. if you have inflammatory bowel disease tell your doctor if symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reactions may occur. mitzi: with less joint pain, watch me. for less joint pain and clearer skin, ask your rheumatologist about cosentyx.
ask your rheumatologist does your business internet provider promise a lot? let's see who delivers more. comcast business gives you gig-speed in more places. the others don't. we offer up to 6 hours of 4g wireless network backup. everyone else, no way. we let calls from any of your devices come from your business number. them, not so much.